Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Greece has met all the conditions of its first set of milestones required to disburse funds up to 12 billion euros, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and Eurogroup concluded on Monday (23.12).

The ESM authorized the release of a 2 billion euros instalment of the country’s loan programme, recognizing "the Greek government’s commitment to the programme with the implementation of an extensive list of essential reforms". The ESM’s Managing Director Klaus Regling expressed confidence that if the programme implementation remains strong, it will enable the Greek economy to make "visible strides towards a sound recovery". 

A Eurogroup statement also praised "the completion by the Greek authorities of the first set of milestones and the financial sector measures that are essential for a successful recapitalization process" - releasing up to 10 billion euros in loans set aside for the recapitalization of Greece’s four biggest banks - and welcomed the "commitment of the Greek authorities to finalise a second set of milestones by mid-December".

The 2 billion euros instalment is the second of the initial loan sub-tranche of 16 billion euros approved in August 2015. The first part of this sub-tranche, 13 billion euros, was disbursed late August. The remaining one billion euros will be available for disbursement upon the completion by mid-December of a second set of ‘prior actions’, currently under negotiations.

When Agence France Presse photographer Aris Messinis put down his camera on a beach in Lesvos to pull a refugee toddler out of the water and carry him on his shoulder, the photographer’s instinct to capture the news was outstripped by that of coming to the aid of the stricken child.

The internationally-acclaimed photographer has been on assignment in Lesvos covering the arrival of thousands of refugees fleeing the Middle East and his camera has captured some of the most iconic images of the refugee crisis in Greece. 

“When you’re at a war, there are dangers for you, too, so somehow you’re on a more equal footing with the people you’re covering. But here, there are no dangers for you. That’s why there are many times when I drop my camera and I help people. Because you need to… My worst moment of this story so far was the last big shipwreck, when I went to the port and they brought the first babies that had drowned and they were trying to bring them back to life. I cannot even think about those scenes anymore…It’s just something that you can’t accept”, he narrates.

Aris Messinis has been chief photographer for AFP in Greece since 2006. He worked in Libya and Egypt during the “Arab Spring” and has won many prestigious awards such as Days Japan 2012, Fotoweek 2011, NPPA etc. In 2012, he was awarded the Photography Prize at Bayeux-Calvados Awards for War Correspondents, considered the “Oscars” of photojournalism, for his work on the Battle of Sirte, Libya, on October 2011.

IT - Telecommunications

The 17th Infocom World Conference 2015 takes place today (Nov 24), in Athens. The conference is organized by Smart Press and this year’s theme is "Digital Reboot - Act and Disrupt", analyzing the latest IT and telecommunications market efforts to find its step through the radical restructure of its technological, investing, operational and strategic orientation.

Alongside the 17th InfoCom World, an Exhibition of Digital Technology will also take place, as well as more than 20 high-level training workshops led by well-known instructors, aiming to enrich the attendees’ knowledge on the latest trends in Telecommunications, Informatics, Data Security, Strategy, Social Media, Crisis management, Marketing and Content Management.

Culture - Shadow Theatre

The international scientific conference "Greek Shadow Theatre - Intangible Cultural Heritage", organized by the Centre of Byzantine, Modern Greek and Cypriot Studies, will take place in Athens November 27-29.

The conference, held under the auspices of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO and dedicated to Walter Puchner, is a part of the project Archive/Data Base of the Greek Shadow Theatre, which is supported by the Stavros Niarhos Foundation and the World in Harmony Foundation.

The conference aims to shed light on ways of disseminating and promoting shadow theatre throughout history, to advance knowledge to a wider audience its history, social context and complexities, as well as to gather further information and scientific support for the recognition by UNESCO of the Greek Shadow Theatre as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Tourism - Hotels

The 3rd edition of the 100% Hotel Show, organized by Demand, will be held at the MEC Paiania exhibition centre, on the eastern outskirts of Athens, November 27 -30. In addition to the fields of construction and decoration, the fair will focus on services, innovation and the online era of the Global Tourism industry.

The main goal of 100% Hotel Show is not only to inform hoteliers about new trends, but to also provide them with the necessary solutions about the important issues of online presence, distribution, sales growth and the competitive development of a hotel product.

Moreover, Design Awards & GTP Island events and various educational workshops will be held in parallel with the show, aiming to showcase new ideas, directions and key areas of concern for hoteliers.

Paris-based photographer and visual artist Evangelia Kranioti is the 2015 recipient of the Best Emerging International Filmmaker Award at the Toronto Hot Docs International Film Festival and has been shortlisted for the Photography Award of the French Academy. 

Her documentary essay "Exotica, Erotica, Etc." had its world premiere at the 65th Berlinale and is currently shown at various film festivals around the world. It also participated at the recent London Film Festival as well as at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival.
“Exotica, Erotica, Etc. is a sensational debut from Evangelia Kranioti. Visually stunning and poetically beautiful, the film marks the emergence of a director that audiences should keep a close eye on in the future.”

At the heart of Evangelia Kranioti’s research are the notions of desire, wandering, and return to one’s origins. Inspired by the work of the sailor and poet Nikos Kavvadias, Kranioti questions the male-female relationship through the fleeting loves of sailors in ports, terrae incognitae where the magic of wandering still operates. "Exotica, Erotica, Etc." is the culmination of a long-term project worked on for years, during which Kranioti followed Greek merchant navy crews around the world and spent months in the company of the women sex workers they frequented. In the film a prostitute’s reflective monologue is paired with that of an old captain’s maritime stories. Kranioti has an affectionate eye for this prostitute and the men she's met, as well as for her free, yet romantic idea of love.  
As Kranioti puts it in her latest interview for Indiewire "The whole world may be mapped from end to end, but intimacy remains the last "terra incognita." In ports, sailors mingle with other people overwhelmed by a primary need to feel alive. Erotic desire is the most significant expression of this urge. For a few moments, all barriers -- ideological, cultural, political, ethical or social -- disappear, and a human being is standing naked in front of another human being..."